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About the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES):


  • The Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) is a component of the All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey (AIQEES) (AQEES).
  • It applies to businesses in the organized sector that employ ten or more people in nine different industries.
  • Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transportation, Education, Health, Accommodation and Restaurants, Information Technology/BPO, and Financial Service Activities are the nine sectors.
  • The goal is to give the government the tools it needs to develop a “strong national policy on employment.”
  • In 1998, India ratified the ILO’s Employment Policy Convention of 1964, which mandates ratifying nations to follow “an active policy geared to encourage full, productive, and freely selected employment.” Currently, India lacks a National Employment Policy (NEP).



  • While the QES focuses on the demand side of the labor market, the National Sample Survey or Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) focuses on the supply side.
  • The National Statistical Organization (NSO) and the Ministry of Statistics and Public Information (MoSPI) are in charge of the PLFS (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation).
  • Problem with QES Statistics: Because the QES only covers establishments with at least 10 employees, it only gives data on the formal economy.
  • Given that informal workers (those without written contracts or benefits) make for nearly 90% of India’s workforce, the QES only gives a limited picture of the labor market.


QES 2021 Data Highlights:


  • Over a base of 2013-14, shows a 29 percent rise in employment in nine sectors during the peak Covid-19 months of April-June 2021. (Sixth Economic Census – EC).
  • The proportion of women in the workforce has decreased.
  • From 31% in the 6th EC (2013) to 29% in the QES data for 2021.
  • Seven of the nine industries showed job growth, while only two (Trade and Accommodation and Restaurants) saw job losses.
  • During the period 2013-2021, the IT/BPO industry grew at the fastest rate of 152 percent.
  • There has been an absolute increase in employment figures between 1998 and 2021.
  • The period 2005-2013 had the highest employment growth rate (38%) since 1998 (4th EC).
  • Between 1998 and 2021, the simple growth rate of employment fluctuated and was not linear.

Source: THE HINDU.